The Messenger

Posted on November 19, 2013

This was taken outside my office building after getting back from an afternoon photo walk. The light was incredible, the messenger’s gesture was perfect and I pressed the shutter release just when the UPS guy peaked out from behind the truck. That little addition took this from simple image of a bike messenger to photo with a meaningful message. I wasn’t sure I caught the UPS guy in action but when the preview came up in the viewfinder, there he was. I smiled and went back to my desk.

This image represents a changing of the guards, a contrast of old and new. The messenger has been delivering packages for many years in one of the most vertically challenging cities in the world, San Francisco. While the UPS truck driver is the new kid on the block and is taking over where the older messenger left off. Just the shear size of the big brown truck visually overwhelms the messenger. The messenger tired but he still has some deliveries left to complete and he’s going to keep going until his job is done.

It’s rare that I capture a moment with such clarity but that’s exactly what I always set out to do when I go on a photo walk. I was really in tune with my vision at the moment, probably the result of having been on a photo walk for an half hour. Being able to quickly get yourself back into that zone, when your vision seems so clear, is one of the best reasons to photograph on a regular basis. It does take a lot practice with the camera to be able to recognize moments like this when they present themselves. When your vision become so clear from being in the zone, you can make real connections. Maybe when Henri Cartier-Bresson talked about “That Moment” this is what he was talking about.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/90, f/5.6, ISO 200

Why this Blog

Posted on November 18, 2013

So why am I writing this blog and why am I posting it here? It’s not a question anyone has actually asked me but I know it’s a question burning to be asked.

Let me start by saying that I have never thought of myself as a very good writer. So maybe the best reason to write this blog is to become a better writer, which is true but it really goes much deeper than just improving my wringing skills. It’s been said that if you want to become a better writer, you need to write about things you know about. Not so long ago I felt knew a lot about photography and composition but the farther I go in my development as a photographer and artist, the more I realize that I’ve only scratched the surface. By committing my thoughts to the written word and then posting it for people to read, it forces me to discover the true meaning of what I’ve created. They say that the best way to learn something is to teach it, so this my way of doing just that.

This image is titled “The Master.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/500, f/2, ISO 50


Posted on November 15, 2013

Something I’m always trying to capture in my photos is a sense of timelessness. Small hints of present day are Ok but for the most part I like a photo that feels like it could have been taken at any time period in the last hundred years. By not giving the viewer a lot of clues to tie the image to present day, theres a sense of making time stand still.

This composition has a nice contrast of shapes. At the top of the frame there is a series of rectangular shapes. While in the lower part of the frame there are more curved shapes. The row of trees is a nice dividing area between the areas. The curve area is dominated by the bus with additional elements in the figures. The top is mostly buildings and windows accented but the streetcar wires. I’ve been finding that I like to layer my compositions. This is all very instinctive as I never try and preplan such things before I go and shoot. I try and go out empty and let myself find something new. The goal is always to see something with a fresh eye and try and capture it in an extraordinary way.

SONY, SLT-A77V, 50mm F1.4 ZA SSM
1/3000, f/2, ISO 200

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